Tag Archives: english

24.04. Meeting #10. The last one :(

On the last meeting with Hyun Ssong we decided that it could be nice to practise dialogues in Korean again. Especially, because I know that it is very important for me to know how to order meal in Korean, as last time he told me that there is almost nobody who can speak fluent English in Korean cafes. So we decided to practise it again. As well as, we practised some names of dishes and it turned out to be so, that I know many exotic korean dishes, which I am not able to buy at students’ cafeterias. So Ssong told me some other dishes names and it was very funny, that everytime he said some name of korean dish he was very excited about it and told me that I definitely have to try it and that he misses his national food a lot.

After practising different dialogues. We practised English with him.
Ssong told me about his future plans,  his future graduation from home university and dreams to move to Europe. He has spanish friends, so he really wants to live in Spain, that is why he even started to learn some Spanish language and it was very interesting for me to hear, as I speak some basic Spanish as well.
Overall, our meeting was a little bit sad, as I knew that we will not meet again for our interesting EOTO meetings and soon he will go back to South Korea. But we agreed that next spring we will meet again in Korea and travel together to the beach in city Busan.
So I really hope it was not our last meeting with him.

Meeting #9. Food in korean universities.

On our 9th meeting we talked about my future plans for going to South Korea as an exchange student.
I sad that I am planning to go there through Hong Kong as we do not need visa there and that I really want to go to famous market in HK, where people can buy exotic food like snakes or some insects. I said that I really want to try scorpio and though Ssong was a little bit shocked, he taught me how to say scorpio in Korean. It is 전갈 (chon-gal). So after that I could make a sentence :
“In Hong Kong  I will eat scorpio” in Korean language:
저는  홍콩에서 전갈을   먹을거에요.
(cho-neun  hong-kong-e  chon-gal-eul  mog-eul-go-e-yo )

After that we made a dialogue about buying food at the university of Korea. To my surprise, Ssong told me that usually the food sellers there are very old ladies who cannot speak English at all, so it could be very handful for me to learn how to talk to them and thanks god, I can speak some Korean already.
Ssong really helped me a lot! He explained me how to buy food in different cafe’s and how to ask the price or how to ask people to convert the price to dollars, so that I could know if it’s expensive or not. It was very useful, as Korean money are quite weird to me,  when I see that something costs 3.000 won, I think that it’s a lot because of the number, though in reality it is less than 3 dollars 🙂
After that we started our English class and, to my regret, Ssong forgot the prepositions I taught him before. So I made a kind of mind map for him to see which one he should use in which cases. So I decided to practise it with him again and when he looked at that mind map he could see which one to use, so he almost didn’t make mistakes.
I can understand his problem, as there aren’t that many different prepositions in Korean, and as a result he knows a lot of words, sometimes he says something I don’t know, but when it comes to grammar, he makes many mistakes. That is why, everytime we meet I try to help him to learn at least something new and he just needs to practice, practice and practice it all.

7th meeting 2.04.15


On our 7th meeting I learned Korean language and it was a very interesting meeting, as Ssong taught me some Korean grammar, which was very useful.  We practiced Future tense and he helped me to remember a grammatical structure in a casual speaking level by teaching me a song,  which the primary school kids learn to remember it as well 🙂
It was :
거야, 거야                                   Will, will
할거야.                                         I will do.
혼자서도  잘  할거야.            I will do everything well for myself.

It was funny that he said I have to sing the melody of the song as well and as we were sitting at the cafeteria side of the lobby, there were so many people around us and all of them watched me singing this funny song 🙂 Anyway, I’ve learned this grammar structure very fast and now I can make the sentences really easily.
E.g. 나는  문을  닫을거야 (na-neun mu-neul dad-eul-go-ya) I will close the door.

Also he taught me how to say phrases in future, with probability 50% of doing it.
E.g. 나는  뭔가를  할수도 있어 (na-neun  mwon-ga-reul  hal-su-do  iss-o) Maybe I will do something.

After that we had some chat in English and we just talked about his future graduation and plans for a future job. During our chat as always I corrected his mistakes and I think his English was improved since the first time we have met for EOTO.

Meeting #6. 27.03.15

Our 6th meeting we started with dinner at TAMK main campus cafe.11106534_410564559104300_1524026794_n

I asked Ssong is it easy for him to eat with fork and knife and he said that he still is not used to it.
I can imagine how difficult it will be to me, when I go to South Korea for an exchange program, as I can use chopsticks, but still I do not feel comfortable when eat with them.

On our 6th meeting we decided to revise all the Korean words I learned some months ago.
To my regret I really forgot quite many of them. Ssong found it funny that I remember some random words, though some very common words are successfully forgoten by me.
Even for me it was strange that for example I remembered how to say “expensive” 비싸다(bi-ssa-da), though I didn’t remember “cheap” 싸다(ssa-da).
Also I taught Ssong, that he can easily learn Finnish word “ilta” (evening), as in Korean
읽다(il-ta) means “to read”.
I really think that the most difficult part in studying Korean is learning new words, as to me sometimes they all sound the same e.g.
쓰다 (sseu-da) “to write” or 싸다 (ssa-da) “cheap”, or 시다(si-da) “sour”. So sometimes I just cannot remember some words, as they all sound similar to me.
Then we again practiced colours and, to my and Ssong’s surprise, I remembered most of them 🙂

Then we practiced English and the topic of our meeting was the usage of the prepositions “in”, “on” and “at”, as I had already promised before that I would explain them to him.
It was a very difficult topic for HyunSsong, since in the Korean language they don’t have such prepositions. Particularly, he couldn’t understand the difference beetwen “in” and “at”. So I explained to him that if you say “I am at school” it means you are somewhere within the territory of the school, but you can be located inside or outside of the building or somewhere nearby, etc. However, when you say “I am in school”, that means specifically inside the building. So with that said, I believe he now knows the difference. A similar mess troubled his head in regards to the usage of prepositions in terms of dates. For example: on Monday, but in spring, on the 6th of May, but in May.
It seems that he learned the main rules I explained to him and told me about his plans for summer vacation and even used all those prepositions.
I think it was a good idea to practice these prepositions. Especially, considering that before it didn’t even cross my mind that some people may not be aware of in which situation they should use them.

Meeting #5. Korean movie night + awesome dinner!

This time we decided to arrange double EOTO meeting at my place, as my close friend Olha also has EOTO with Korean girl YoonSoo.

We cooked our traditional Ukrainian dish borsch (though some Russians think it’s their traditional dish, it is not true). And YoonSoo and HyunSsong made Korean dishes for us as well. It was soup된장국, and rice with meat 돼지불고기. As I am a really big fan of spicy Korean food, all the dishes were to my taste!

After that we watched Korean drama movie Nara’s rain.Land_of_Rain-p1

It was a love story between a teacher, who was at around 25 and she just lost her husband in a car accident and her young student who was about to graduate from school (so he was at around 17-18).
For me the main topic of the movie was not a very big deal, as in my country it is not very normal, but people would react quite normally to this situation. But in Korea, it’s a big problem for their society and love between teacher and pupil is just beyond their very conservative understanding. So all the people refused to communicate with that woman, as it was a very big shame for the school where she works, and she had a lot of troubles with that. First of all, I think that it was a shame how even though she was a young woman, she was already a widow and people were reacting quite negatively to that fact. That student didn’t have a family and his father died the same day as her husband. This created a common bond I think, and I would even say that she had no actual romantic feelings for him, but more like a motherly like type of care. But the society they lived in, was really harsh and strict and as a consequence they lost everything. Although, in the end they did stay together.

We watched it with English subs, and I was surprised that sometimes I could even find some mistakes in the translation. For example when the actress said “don’t go” in Korean, English translation was “don’t do it” and some other not very important mistakes like that. So I really like the fact, that I can distinguish some words while I watch a movie in a foreign language which I just started to learn about 6 month ago. So my EOTO meetings help me quite a lot.

American movie night “Ouija”. Meeting #4.


We met with Hyun Ssong at Toas city where he lives and decided to watch some nice movie. Though first we planned to watch a Korean one, we couldn’t download it to his computer, so we decided that our meeting number 4 will be an american movie night. And next time we will watch something Korean.

So as both me and Ssong like horror movies, we decided to watch a quite new film called OUIJA. Ssong also turned on English subs, so it was easier for him to follow the conversations.
In my opinion, the movie wasn’t very interesting and some moments were really quite stupid, so I definitely do not recommend it to you, guys.
Anyway, I had fun, because we really did laugh at some very really stupid mistakes that were in the movie, so all in all I think we had a good time laughing constantly 🙂
At least, Ssong learned some new words and I had a good time, so it was a good experience anyway.

Meeting #3

Our third meeting we had at awesome TAMKO office drinking cacao with Hyun Ssong.
This time we decided to practice colours in Korean and also how to ask: “What colour is this?”, “What colour is that” etc.


So to make it easy to post here, I just made a picture with the colours I’ve learned.


Each colour name ends with syllable 색”saek” which means colour. It was easy to learn some of them, as I could make an association with some of the words from other languages I speak. For example, yellow color is “no-ran-saek” in transcription and I remembered it fast, as there is a Finnish name Nora, so it sounded to me like Nora’s colour in Finnish 🙂 Dark blue “nam-saek” I also remembered very fast, as my favourite Korean singer’s surname is also 남 (Nam TaeHyun from band WINNER).
Sometimes it was very funny, as me and Ssong had different opinions on the colours. When he asked me: “Whats colour is this?” and showed some object I told him for example that it is pink, though he thought it is purple, the same was with blue and dark blue colours as well 🙂

On our second part of meeting, which was our English class, Ssong again practised Past Simple tense. As an average exchange student, he usually travels a lot and this time he just came back from Lapland. So he told me some stories about his trip there. While he spoke English, I corrected him and also we discovered that he has problems with prepositions “in”, “on” and “at”. So we decided that next time we have a grammar lesson I will teach him in which cases we should use those prepositions. He said it is very good for him to practise English with me, as he knows that I correct his mistakes and everytime he learns something new, he writes down everything to remember.



Second meeting. 11.02. The culture of Blind Dates.


Our second meeting with Ssong, we started with Korean. First, we did some grammar and he taught me the verb “to have” (가지다) and how to make sentences like “I have smthn” using this verb or another one  있다. So after the class I could say something like “I have a younger sister.” in Korean:  나는 여동생이 있다 (casual style). After that we’ve practised making some more sentences and then Ssong decided to tell me about Korean tradition to go on blind dates.
Frankly speaking, I’ve seen it in some Korean comedy movies, so I thought that the film producers used it just to make it more funny, but Ssong told me that people in Korea like it quite much. And young girls really take it very seriously and go on many blind dates hoping to find a good husband this way.
So we made a dialog, as we are meeting each other for the first time on blind date. This is how we practised some new words I learned and I tried to make sentenses which could help me to describe myself in Korean. It was very funny and I was really impressed by Ssong’s stories about blind dates. As in my culture it is really very rare and quite odd thing.

After that I asked Ssong to tell me how was his trip to Stockholm last weekend, as I know that he offten mixes different times in one sentence when speaks English. He can say something in Past and the second part of the sentence in Present or something like that. So I decided that he could practise a lot by telling me everything in Past Indefinite tense. I corrected his mistakes and he wrote down all the new words he didn’t know before.

4.02. First Meeting with Ssong.

As we heard on the orientation lecture, that we can write our learning diaries here not right after each class, but after some period of time. So after 5 meetings with my EOTO partner Hyun Ssong I decided to finally start my diary.

Our first meeting was the 4th of February.
First part of our meeting was mini presentation from Ssong about different language levels of Korean which they use in everyday life. We did not cover all of them because some of them are not up to date and can be used only when you talk to the king or emperor. So we just covered formal style grammar, which is used in narration in books or on tv, then respective style to talk to people who are older, then casual style and very casual style (only with very close friends). This topic was of great interest to me and I was really impressed by very good presentation. Also we practised how to conjugate verbs in all these language levels in Past tense. I found it quite easy and I really liked the class.
Here is one exaple of conjugation of the verb to love on 4 language levels in the Past tense:
사랑하다 —> 사랑헸습니다, 사랑했었다, 사랑했다, 사랑했어

After that Ssong told me that he doesn’t know how to make an order at cafe or restaurant. Always when he wants to order something he says: “Is it possible to get this food?”.
I decided that we can practise some dialogues, as we are in a cafe, so then he learned that he can make an order using construction “Could you?”, e.g. “Could you bring me some water, please?” and also we used constructions 1)type “I would like to…” or “I want to…” and 2)“I would rather” and Ssong didn’t know that in the case of first construction we have to use preposition “to”, like “I would like to do smthn” and in the second construction you should avoid prepositions and say “I would rather do that”.  Ssong said to me that it was very useful info for him and now he can make orders in cafe using those phrases. Also he told me that he plans to go to Stockholm, so we discussed in English how to get to some places of interest there. He usually makes some mistakes, so I corrected him and when he didn’t remember the proper word, I said it and he wrote in down to his notebook.

I really enjoyed our first class and looked forward to meet again.


meetings 6-10


Firstly, sorry for the lack of posts! Totally got swamped with exams and assignments, bah. So I’ll just run through the rest of out meetings 🙂


6/11/14    Don’t Mention the War!/6

So myself and Tom decided to go to a bar in Finlayson.  Turned out to do a variety of beers (a substance which both Scots and Germans enjoy, so it is educational! :P) so course we tried some.



(apologies for them being on their side, no idea..)

Anyways, so I wanted to learn more about the history of Germany. Turns it it’s a rather new country (founded in 1871) but my partner didn’t really know the history. I Googled it, turns out there were a lot of civil wars which is very confusing to understand.

I told him about how Scotland was first a bunch of little tribes (each with different kilts) and they just merged together to form colonies.  Glasgow became a city because of the river Clyde that runs through it brought together people. When industrialisation came around it was used for steelworks and transporting them worldwide.

We, of course, ended up talking about the World Wars. Turns out Finland was with the Nazi’s and so was the Italians which I did not know about. We shared our knowledge over it. I don’t know why but I thought we’d have different knowledge over it, turns out we know really similar stuff.

We then ended up, don’t ask how, talking about school systems in Germany and Scotland. They turn out to be similar which I was not expecting at all. Even with colleges and universities.

It was a really insightful meeting, just how similar the cultures are.



12/11/14   Stores and Guns../7

So not really having a plan, we wandered up the main street naming the stores in English and German:

super market- supermarkt

department store- kaufhaus

shopping centre- einkaufszentrum

police station- polizeistation

town hall- rathaus

We ended up going to XXL Sport to see about sleeping bags and walking around we stumbled onto the guns, knives, bow and arrows and even crossbows!

I found this really strange because in the UK guns are illegal. Not sure about crossbows and bow and arrows but I’m pretty sure they’re banned as well.

Was eye opening and reminded myself that the rest of the EU isn’t like Britain. Was a great little hour 🙂


13/11/14 Festivities/8

So my partner decided it was time for me to try some German drinks which I must admit were fab! I don’t usually like gin but with cucumber, wow. Course I had to bring shortbread.

Since it’s the festive season we decided to talk about what we do in each country for Christmasnd new year.

I was incredibly surprised when Tom told me that in Germany they open their presents Christmas eve instead of Christmas day. And that the three days (eve, day and boxing day) they practically get together with family and eat/drink. Back in the UK it’s not uncommon but I don’t think I could stand my whole family for three days! I usually go see friends boxing day.

Merry Christmas- Frohe Weihnachten

I then explained to Tom that New years or Hogmanay is big in Scotland, not too sure why but we have a different word for it and we get to drink lots of whiskey and eat lots of shortbread and sing Robert Burns poems.

Happy New Year! – Prosit Neujahr!

New Year’s Day  –der Neujahrstag


We also talked about birthdays and the only difference was really in Britain we celebrate peoples 21st. In history it was when people were given “the key to the door” and it’s just never died down even though a legal adult is 16 years old… Any excuse to party really…

Apparently wishing a German happy birthday before their birthday is bad luck, just a pointer 🙂

Best wishes on your birthday- Viel Glück zum Geburtstag!


14/11/14   Hockey Match/9

So myself and Tom decided to go see a hockey match (Ilves vs Sport) as I’m now turning into a big Ilves fan and we can talk about sports while watching grown men beat each other! Always great fun 🙂


So Scotland and Germany are in the same boat when it comes to ice hockey, we have teams but it’s not as big a sport as football and so people usually forget we have teams.

Tom taught me some words in German as we were sitting in the break.

Goal- Tor

referee, umpire – Schiedsrichter

stadium(s)  –Stadion (die Stadien, plural.)

tackle   –fassen 

Icehockey- Eishockey

Ilves ended up winning that night so it was a really good meeting 🙂



29/11/14 Vapriikin Museum/10

So for one of our last meetings we ended up going to Vapriikin (really good museum! I totally recommend it for a wee day out)

So after getting lost and then finally finding the museum we went exploring.

I didn’t know post could be so interesting, but its possible!

Post Office- die Post / das Postamt

Parcel- das Paket

Stamp- die Briefmarke

I must admit it was a really fun way to learn words and phrases I will be able to use in Germany.

We moved on to wildlife, in the museum it was really cool to see all of Finland’s wildlife and it gave me and Tom the opportunity to talk about wildlife in our own countries.

For example:

squirrel- Eichhornchen

Deer- Reh/ Hirsch

Fox- Fuchs

bird- Vogel

Badger- Dachs

Butterfly- Falter

Beetle- Kafer

And many others!

There was also a 60/70’s fashion section were we just laughed at how ridiculous the fashion use to be. Seriously, if you can, go to this museum. It’s a great day out!

Really great way to learn a different language, fun and interactive.




5/12/14  Hot Wings and Goodbyes/11

So all things must come to an end. Least myself and Tom done it in style with some great hot wings and just so much chicken!

We just really talked over what we had learned together and if it helped in any way (between stuffing our faces with awesome food- Sticky Wings down the side of McDonalds, seriously go try them).

Turned out we both really benefited each other. This was a great starting point for learning German and I’ll hopefully carry it on when I get home and I was able to help Tom a little with English grammar and some English phrases, not that he needed much help!

But honestly it was a great opportunity and I’m really glad I partook in it 🙂